It’s A Dud
Simply put, Incubus’ Light Grenades is a disappointing album. The sixth full-length record from this once aspiring alt-rock group falls flat, lacking any real edge to highlights the band’s strengths. Whereas earlier work S.C.I.E.N.C.E. and Make Yourself were a pastiche of confrontational genres from the mid-Nineties, the further along the band has comeâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ„Ã¹from the pop rock of Morning View and the mixed-bag rehash of 2004’s A Crow Left of the MurderâˆšÂ¢â€šÃ‡Â¨â€šÃ„Ã¹the more watered down their sound has become.Gone are the jammy percussion, manic rock riffs, triggered samples and artful content that made the group so alluring in their infancy. Seemingly stuck in the more radio-friendly formulaic pattern that they executed with far better tunes on Morning View Incubus eschew any audacity for second-rate pop approximations. “Earth to Bella (Part 1)” has singer Brandon Boyd cooing a saccharine melody before a downright awkward measure of distorted guitars comes in. And while “Love Hurts” has a steady enough structure, the sappy lyric “Love hurts / but sometimes it’s a good hurt” is enough to induce groans.
Title track “Light Grenades” tries valiantly to rock hard, but is sadly absent the emotion or verve necessary to ring through with authenticity. Worse yet, “A Kiss to Send Us Off” and “Anna Molly” seem uninspired, the former with a repetitious chorus repeating the song’s title in a manner that feels devoid of musicality. “Diamonds and Coal” is solid, comparable to the stronger pop cuts from Morning View (“Warning” and “Wish You Were Here”), but occasional high spots like that aren’t enough to make Light Grenades worth repeated listens.